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Amy Donaldson: Bingham football player faces his toughest foe — cancer — with help from his community

Published: Sunday, April 6 2014 8:45 p.m. MDT

Teachers have offered to make posters, and opposing coaches have asked how they can help with fundraisers. Peck posted all of the information, including how to donate to an account set up for the family at a Chase Bank on the team’s website, binghamfootball.org.

A group of friends are organizing a 5K run/walk benefit on Saturday, May 31 at 8 a.m. It will be held at the LDS meetinghouse located at 3407 W. 9625 South, with registration at 7:30 a.m., as well as in advance. In addition to the 5K, there will be T-shirts for sale, a silent auction and a bake sale. It’s as much a celebration of friendship and love as it is an effort to help a family pay for cancer treatment.

“It is powerful and overwhelming,” said Jackie.

Riley panicked when he found out that the Dixie State University coaches found out before he could tell them. But any fear dissipated when one of the coaches told him not to worry and remember that, “Tough things don’t last, tough people do.”

Days later, he received a card covered with handwritten, positive, healing sentiments from the coaching staff.

“They told him they’d hold his scholarship and that they’d be there for him throughout this,” Jackie said. “They said, ‘You’re part of our family now.’ … Everything is a miracle.”

The young man who spent his prep career trying to protect his teammates from opposing players will now rely on a much bigger team to help him battle an opponent he can't even see.

"I'm just so humble and full of gratitude," Jackie said of the way her community has made her son's fight their fight. "I can't imagine going through this without the love and support of everyone. It makes the whole thing bearable."

Twitter: adonsports EMAIL: adonaldson@deseretnews.com

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